Review of Novel Sula


The Sula novel talks about a lasting prejudice and racism existing in between the hills and the valley areas of medallion and along the racial bases indicates the lifestyle and behaviours depicted by various characters for example Nel who expresses insecurity because of her mother’s blood with white complexion. Racial segregation stresses the black people of the bottom who are oppressed and are denied employment importunities by the whites. As Sula returns from college in Memphis, extreme kind of nature returns as a superstition symbol whereby she was welcomed by plague of robins which only happened in the bottom where it was only inhabited by only blacks. It is only Eva who believed it was a sigh of Sula returning but other people believed that the robins symbolize that something was coming.

Sula is not only metaphysically black, not melanin and tribe but she is the new world black woman who goes beyond extracting choice far from choice less , inventively responding  to invent new things in non-professional way. Also Sula is very disruptive, daring, and modern –out, imaginative, non-policing and uncontainable. Toni Morrison’s observation on the community dominated by black women in both private and public life .Morrison’s main point in protagonist answers the race and gender questions. Since Sula is raised for ten year outside her own community other women of her community felt her as superior after her return Sula’s status in the community as a woman takes a very small part of she perceives herself and also she is perceived by others. She is too much mysterious to be a true representative of both white and the black group.

Despite of all the limitation which is imposed by the entire community and also her family, Sula does not put any limits upon herself. Despite the ultimate blackness that isolates her from her own community that utterly enact antithetical beauty. When she returns after ten years from college she refuses to maintain the family in the same manner her mother and grandmother used to maintain before her. Her inmate interaction also with men is limited consciously. In this noel, women oppression is particularly depicted and delivers an unspoken evil that has no comprehensive narration. Women in medallion have already accepted the transgression of poverty, pain and in spite of all this they are experiencing drought and consequent plagues. They have already accepted that it is Gods uncontrollable power that proceeds over every aspect that affects their community life.

Every main female character in Sula novel commits a blameworthy, but when they are placed within the context that the author depicts the acts become redemptive since the community is plagued with poverty, crime, racism and lacking mobility at the same time. Another agonizing situation is when Eva, Sula’s grandmother her son to death in order to relieve him from his suffering he had slipped in cocaine addiction. Morrison also talks about the conceit that the evil wins when community people fail to act on some crucial issues that are haunting them. This is clearly shown when Hanna Sula’s mother burn at their backyard to death. The fact that Sula was too young to help her mother, this incident is seen interpreting Sula’s future life in relation to the world that appears to control her.

Prior to Sula’s mother death, Sula returns to her home town medallion only to find a plague of robins on her heels. These robins descend on her town and blacken the skies. It is very conspicuous that medallion residents are deep down to the mercies of forces which are completely out of their own control. The kind of shame people feels towards Sula and the actions she was doing gives medallion residents motivation on how to behave differently since shame was revealed to be essential part of the community. The entire community defined themselves against Sula as symbol of shame .finally when Sula dies and the community members no longer have shame and embodiment the start ignoring their maternal and familial duties that they were eager to achieve when Sula was still alive. Helene also feels a lot of shame since she was born to a prostitute where she defines herself against her mother’s example and becomes very judgemental and extremely conservative unlike her mother.

Sula is also depicted in the novel as religion protagonist who don’t observe or respect the church and is seen as the devil in the entire community. Religion has become indicator of social acceptability. There are characters who are devoted to god’s work and they believe that their problems will be solved through prayers. Example is Helene who is taught good morals by her grandmother, also Nel become involved in the church’s work in her late adulthood which finally directs her to the peace nursing home where Sula’s grandmother lives. “How do you know?”Sula said. About who was good?  I mean maybe it not meant to be you but maybe it was me”. (Morrison, 1973, p. 146)

She was also concerned in maintaining her inmate friendship with Nel not knowing that she and Nel was not the same thing. Sula caused a very major pain to her friend when she fell in love with her husband Jude. Sula was ill prepared by possessing one she was so close to husband leaving her in deep pain. Also Morrison tells us the story of the friendships which existed between the two girls teen Sula peace and Nel Wright. This relationship develops bizarre background which enmeshed their family ties and knit closely the black community.

Sula decides not to take the part which her friend Nel takes.nel takes the part in which women in the normal society should take of getting married get children and other roles of a black woman in any closed community. Instead, Sula decides to leave her own community and goes to college whereby she is seen embracing a very different life from her own after return back from the college. After her return she faces a very great hatred from the community members since she chooses to embrace western life rather than her own. One could just justify that Sula possesses opposite sex characteristics and shunned because of going out to college far away from home.

Besides being faced with the world full of racisms Sula defends herself by developing her own life. She also refuses to settle for the normal community woman tradition marriage, child upbringing and labour. The women of the bottom also hated Sula because of living in critique of their own life. She is even described by the author as broken mirror pieces and fragments that we have to see them as independent and put together ourselves. Sula sexual relationship with Jude Nel husband caused a big void and a gap in the women relationship that allowed us to examine what is capable of happening to close friends.

Several years after Sula death, her friend Nel realizes that she had wasted many opportunities on discovering her one’s self and happiness. Toni Morrison goes beyond telling us of Sula asking Nel if she could allow her to have sex with her husband since they were very good friends indeed. This shows us how intimate friendship i the novel had a very bad consequence in some characters marriage life. Despite of Nel hatred toward Sula she is still committed to her childhood friend.

In any relationship disagreement can occur at every point of life. For Sula and her friend Nel their true friendship gives us a clear indication of the beauty and the strength that they find in each personality. As young girls Sula and Nel set up their own rules that defined their dimension of their togetherness friendship that they are just out of what their community perceived their behaviour to be acceptable.


Toni Morrison describes matriarchal homes where girls and women are the most dominant figure who even goes beyond emasculating their own husbands. Morrison’s wide vision extends far beyond individual context that explores self-satisfactory history and relationship. Depicting freedom  ,curiosity, adventure, danger and passion Sula cared less from others and also giving less about what other people were saying .she is spontaneous and not able to moderate her tempers which suddenly impact that may have consequences for her community .
















Work cited

Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: Vintage International, 1973. Internet resource.

Top of Form

Morrison, Toni. Sula. , 1973. Internet resource.

Lippmann, Babette, and Toni Morrison. Good and Evil in Toni Morrison’s Sula. , 1973. Print.